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Record number of Chinese says prices too high: central bank

06-18-2010 17:27 BJT

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A record number of Chinese said current prices were "too high to be acceptable", according to survey results released on Thursday by the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank.

The survey, published on the PBOC's website, indicated that 58.9 percent of the respondents, a record high in the past decade, said current prices were too high, while satisfaction with consumer prices fell to 21.7 percent in the second quarter, 4.2 percentage points lower than in the first quarter.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, hit a 19-month high with a 3.1 percent year-on-year rise in May, surpassing the target of 3 percent annual inflation set by the government in March.

During the first five months of 2010 China's CPI rose 2.5 percent year on year. On June 12, the National Development and Reform Commission projected a 2.6 percent growth in CPI for the first half of this year.

The survey also said 72.5 percent of the respondents held that current home prices were "too high to be acceptable". The percentage figure began to climb during the second quarter of last year and hit a record high in the second quarter of this year.

Consumers' expectations for further increases in home prices has weakened, with 29.3 percent of the respondents expecting gains in property prices, down 10 percentage points from the first quarter.

Also, the percentage of participants who were prepared to buy homes in the next three months dropped to 15.5 percent, the second consecutive quarterly decline, according to the survey.

The survey came after home prices in the country's 70 large and medium-sized cities rose 12.4 percent year on year in May after an increase of 12.8 percent in April, a record high not seen since July 2005.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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